Darley Moor Motor Cycle Road Race Club have been busy getting the circuit, near Ashbourne, (DE6 2ET), ready for Round one of the 2018 season this coming weekend.
Action begins with a Practice Day on Saturday, followed by the first round of this year’s seven-round Championship on Sunday.
Saturday’s Test Day will give some of the competitors their first opportunity to test new machines, or machines that have been stripped and rebuilt over the winter and an opportunity to complete their last race set-up and preparations.
Matching the effort of competitors preparing their machines over the winter break, club members, officials, marshals and some competitors, have given up their spare time to replace tyre walls, fencing and banners around the circuit.
With one of the largest entries for an opening round everybody has been working exceptionally hard over this last weekend to ensure there will be room for all the competitors race transporters, vans and caravans in the paddock.
With the amount of standing water and snow around the site over Easter, there will be no suitable ground for tents and any additional cars will be directed towards the many areas of hard standing.
No less than 12 champions from 2017, with 14 titles amongst them will begin their defences at Round 1, so any newcomer, or potential title challenger will know immediately how quick their pace will need to be if they are to be in with a share of the silverware.
One of the stars of 2017 was Lloyd Shelley (Burntwood) who dominated the Formula 600 and Sound of Thunder classes throughout the year, winning all races that he entered.
This year he plans on defending his titles, but also to challenge the 1,000cc machines in the Peak Cup races and is already aiming for a ride on a 1,000cc machine for the Stars at Darley meeting at the end of the season.
As always, the first Round of any championship can highlight potential surprises amongst the regular contenders for championship honours.
Last year saw Ben Scranage (Bolton) turn-up, wearing a novice jacket, showing he was at the start of his racing career, and record an eighth place in the opening Peak Cup race.
He then went on to have an excellent season, becoming a double champion in the Club’s Peak Cup and Open Solo classes.
In addition to the regular championship classes there is also the first round of the Curtis Milner Trophy, in memory of a young Darley Moor racer who lost his life in a road accident.
The Trophy will be decided over the combined results of the second Formula 600 race at Round 1 and Round 2.
Saturday’s Test Day is scheduled to run between 10am-5pm, whilst Sunday’s action begins with Practice at 10am, with the first race scheduled for 11.30am. A slight change in the race programme with two non- championship ‘All-comers’ races held first before running into the first Peak Cup race.